Joel Diaz, Jr. Beats Tyler Asselstine But Whatever

(Frank Galarza connects on Sebastien Bouchard; via)

It was a comprehensive decision victory, the one Joel Diaz, Jr. scored on Showtime’s prospect-oriented program ShoBox Friday night against Tylser Asselstine. If it left you cool to Diaz as a prospect or an action attraction, though, it would be hard to blame you.

Diaz, a junior lightweight, hit harder and landed more. He won all but two rounds on my scorecard, the 8th and 9th (Asselstine was rightfully docked a point for losing his mouthpiece in the 8th). The scores read 97-92 across the board. Asselstine wore two dark black eyes by fight’s end.

Diaz nonetheless failed to impress. Asselstine moved and bedeviled Diaz a little with a southpaw hex, in quantities sufficient to make Diaz appear like he was struggling. In his thriller against Guy Robb two years ago, Diaz at least exhibited a flare for the dramatic, a flare enabled by Robb himself. So what is Diaz? Is he a potential action star who needs a playmate to slug with him? Or is he a talent who gets hit more than he needs to? I lean toward “potential action star who needs a playmate to slug with,” but he is only 22 years old.

On the undercard, the out of nowhere backward-pedalling power shot pot shotter Frank Galarza won his own clear decision over Sebastien Bouchard. Galarza lost a point for low blows and lost some steam in the late rounds yet mostly reacted to Bouchard’s pressure with solid defense and a boatload of counters. Galarza, a junior middleweight, doesn’t usually fight in that style, so perhaps he was aiming to prove a point. He proved it satisfactorily. Yet like Diaz, he didn’t exactly make an impression as either an action fighter or true prospect.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.